Your Bariatric Surgery Options
Are you obese? Is it negatively affecting your health through diabetes, heart disease, risk of stroke? Are you done needing specially sized bariatric supplies?
But there are multiple variations on the theme of bariatric surgery, as listed here, and each one has its own unique set of circumstances.
The most popular form of bariatric surgery is the Adjustable Gastric Band, better known as the LAP BAND®, in which the surgeon will place a shrinkable and expandable medical grade band around the stomach. The surgeon, over time, can tighten or loosen the band, depending on your needs.
The band wraps around the middle of the stomach restricting how much food can enter and stay in the stomach at once. It forces you to slow down your eating, eat less, and allow your food to digest slowly. This type of surgery, while still surgery, requires you to be completely willing to change your habits and lifestyle lest you incur the side effect of vomiting or stomach pains from gas, due to eating too much too quickly.
The most common form of Bariatric surgery is the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. In this surgery, the surgeon disconnects the small intestinal opening and reattaches it to the upper portion of the stomach (in a pouch-like area that he created). Since the new stomach area is so small, you are not able to ingest as much food at once, and what you do ingest is moved more quickly into the intestine.
Since most digestion occurs in the intestine, less calories and nutrients are absorbed in the stomach. Since most digestion occurs in the intestine, digestive upset occurs if you eat too quickly or eat too much at once. This type of surgery also forces you to change your eating lifestyle.
Lastly, a sleeve gastrectomy is an option where the stomach is mostly removed and what is left is a small pouch that is still connected to the intestines and still performs digestion as normal. Since the organ is smaller, you are physically unable to ingest large quantities of food without negative consequences of vomiting and so it forces you to slow down and eat less. The positive side effect is that since the stomach is physically smaller, it takes less food to make you feel full.
All bariatric surgeries are major medical endeavors and should not be taken lightly. Discuss your options with a surgeon and ask questions. The best way to prepare is to know that satisfaction, in life and from food, comes from the mind, not the body. Make sure your mind is ready to change its habits just as your body will.
You may continue to need discount medical supplies while you are healing and losing your weight so don't clean out the closets yet. You may especially want to hold on to any adult incontinence products or quad canes that you are using until you get the ok from the doctor. Bariatric surgery is a major lifestyle change so please know that supporting communities are found all over the internet and here.